JBS rolled out on 25th March its target of becoming Net Zero by 2040 during the Global Summit 2021, an event organized by the Climate Governance Initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum. At an online meeting to debate the risks and opportunities that the climate emergency represents for businesses and the world, Gilberto Tomazoni, Global CEO of JBS, pointed out that the Company has committed to zeroing its balance of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, reducing the intensity of direct and indirect emissions and offsetting residual emissions. This commitment had already been formalized on Tuesday (23).
“Net Zero is not just the right thing to do. It is our only option as a society. Global warming is already having a devastating effect on the more vulnerable global citizens. If we don’t act now, the world will face a climate disaster”, said Tomazoni, during his talk on the panel “Accelerating Corporate Climate Action”, which also saw the participation of representatives of companies from sectors like the chemical industry, electronics, automotive and oil and logistics, with their headquarters in America, Europe, Oceania and Asia. Together, these leaders shared experiences about how climate change is affecting their priorities, their portfolios of climate-related projects and approaches to capital allocation.
As one of the keynote speakers on the panel, the Global CEO of JBS pointed out that at the beginning of the week the Company had become the first in the animal protein sector with a global presence to sign up to the United Nations emissions reduction campaign. According to Tomazoni, the JBS target of Net Zero by 2040 includes the Company’s entire operations (scope 1) and the indirect emissions from generating electricity for the Company (scope 2), as well as from its diversified value chain that includes farmers and other suppliers (scope 3). This decision will not be confined to a part of the JBS portfolio of brands, such as organics or plant-based items. It will cover all products across all chains.
We don’t yet have all the answers as to how this path will be followed, but “JBS puts a lot of trust in science and in the investments it will make to find the answers to the questions that arise”, said Tomazoni. For him, “if we adopt the right mentality and concentrate our efforts, energy, investment and human potential in fighting global climate change together, we can save our planet for future generations and, if that is the case, we will be proud of the fact that our actions today led us to a better tomorrow. We are grabbing this opportunity with both hands”.
According to estimates by the United Nations, the world population should grow from 7.7 people today, to almost 10 billion by 2050. “That’s 2 billion more mouths to feed and 2 billion lives with the right to seek a place in the sun. We must do more and more so that each meal is healthy and nutritious for the family that consumes it and sustainable for the planet”, said Tomazoni.
Asked why JBS has opted for a target for 2040 rather than 2050, like many companies have done, the CEO said: “Global warming is already affecting life around the planet. It is the greatest challenge of our era. So, everyone has to do the most they can to save the world. JBS is the world’s second-largest food company and leader in protein. Therefore, we can and must be ambitious”.
JBS understands the magnitude of the Net Zero commitment it has assumed, and the hard work needed to achieve this objective. “Over the next decade, we will invest US$ 1 billion to enhance the sustainability of our operations, and we will tie our executives’ performance bonuses to climate change. We will also invest US$ 100 million in agricultural research and development over the next 10 years to help farmers around the world to increase their productivity without sacrificing any forests or expanding their livestock footprints”, said the CEO. JBS will support special crop-livestock-forestry integration (CLFI) projects that combine production of grains like corn and soybean, livestock breeding and forest regeneration with excellent impacts on productivity.
In his participation at the Global Summit 2021 of the Climate Governance Initiative, Tomazoni also argued that to tackle global climate change, solid partnerships between the public and private sectors, like the World Economic Forum, are absolutely essential. The summit brings together directors and senior business executives, regulators, academics and specialists in governance with the main objective of debating the risks and opportunities that global warming represents for companies, as well as the role of companies in the struggle against climate change.
Tomazoni mentioned recent estimates that show that illegal deforestation in Brazil accounts for 99% of all forest felling alerts in the country. The Global recalled that JBS built a path to eliminate illegal deforestation from its supply chain more than a decade ago, creating a responsible procurement policy and developing satellite-based monitoring systems to track more than 50,000 cattle supplier farms in the Amazon Biome. “We have recently begun to implement a new platform that will use blockchain technology to monitor the suppliers of our suppliers in the Amazon by 2025 and in all other biomes in Brazil by 2030”, he added.
With production units that range from Brazil to Europe, from the USA to Australia, JBS finds itself at the intersection between the farmer and the consumer, transforming the work in the field into food products that support human life. “Given our position and scale, we have an opportunity to lead the transformation of the livestock markets and to make them more productive and part of the global climate solution”, the CEO asserted. The suppliers of JBS will not be alone. The Company will provide the means, the training and the access to financing so that they can accompany the transition to the Net Zero economy .